The Northwestern Wildcats (0-1) could not come back late against the West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0), falling behind early and crumbling late in their opening game of the season.
Redshirt junior Zach Morton (0-1) of Evanston, IL, gave the Wildcats a quality start, finishing 6 innings while allowing only 3 earned runs on 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, and a hit by pitch. Morton began the game will some difficulty as he hit CF Brady Wilson in the first plate appearance. After a single and a 3B Nate Antone double, the Mountaineers had already taken a 2-0 lead.
Northwestern responded in the bottom as SS Kyle Ruchim -- who finished the day 2 for 3 with 2 walks -- blasted a ground-rule double to right, eventually coming around to score on a 1B Paul Snieder single for a 2-1 game. West Virginia responded with another RBI single in the second inning, as did the Wildcats with an RBI walk, putting the game at 3-2.
It was not until the 9th inning that the game got out of hand, as the Mountaineers -- leading 4-2 at that point -- as the duo of Paul Snieder (relieving this time) and RHP Michael Jahns allowed three runs to cross the plate on a hit by pitch, a walk, a single, and then a double.
The final score was Northwestern 3, West Virgina 7 with Zach Morton getting the loss.
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